The nine F1 ACADEMY Discover Your Drive supported racers shone brightly at the opening weekend of the 2024 Champions of the Future Academy campaign.

As part of F1 ACADEMY’s commitment to increasing the pipeline of female talent, three drivers in each of the three mixed gender categories are being supported. F1 ACADEMY Discover Your Drive is covering one third of their budgets for the season alongside providing branded karts and race suits.

The first of six rounds saw female racers win three of the six finals and female competitors made up a quarter of the field that took to the track at the Cremona International Circuit in Italy.


Sophie Guth led the way for the Mini 60 trio on Day 1. After just missing out on the top 15 in the timed Qualifying session, the German racer put together two solid Qualifying Heat races in P15 and P19 to secure a spot on row nine for the first Final. Battling her way up the order, Guth made up three places to score two Championship points in P14.

France’s Lina Salamanca and Emirati racer Ava Lawrence were also hard at work. Starting from P26, Salamanca proved her overtaking chops. The biggest climber of Final 1, she managed to gain eight places to finish 18th. Meanwhile, despite a brief off-track moment, Lawrence’s determination never wavered and she took the chequered flag in P23.

It was an action-packed weekend but full of lots of learning for Salamanca
It was an action-packed weekend but full of lots of learning for Salamanca

Day 2 saw Guth once again head the three supported drivers. A rapid six-place gain in Qualifying Heat 2 helped earn her a P16 start, which she converted into two more points to her tally with P14 in the second Final. Salamanca continued to show her quick race pace, rocketing up nine places in Qualifying Heat 2 and eventually earned a P23 finish in the second Final.

Lawrence also stormed her way up the pack from P26 on the grid. Steadily picking her way through, she made up 10 places to round out her weekend in P16.


Over in the OK-N Junior category, Sara Matsui, Angelina Simons Torres and Victoria Farfus all made their mark on track. Qualifying in P12, Matsui improved nine places across both Heats and the Japanese driver continued to add to her tally with six points awarded for P12 in the first Final.

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Simons Torres was another driver to get her elbows out in Day 1’s Qualifying Heats, gaining an impressive 12 places in Heat 1 and 10 in Heat 2 to earn her five Championship points. After starting Final 1 from P11, a five-second post-race time penalty for a technical infringement dropped her to P17 in the final classification. It was a difficult opening day for Farfus. Lining up for the first Final in P19, the Brazilian driver’s race came to an end after an incident on the opening lap.

Getting points on the board across both sets of Heats and Finals Matsui will be looking to progress to the podium in Round 2
Getting points on the board across both sets of Heats and Finals, Matsui will be looking to progress to the podium in Round 2

Back for more on Day 2, Matsui tried to make the most out of the difficult weather conditions. Going from P14 for both Qualifying Heats, the Williams Racing Academy driver carved her way up nine places in the wet to claim P5 in Heat 2. Securing P6 in Final 2, Matsui left Round 1 sitting seventh in the Drivers' Championship on 50 points.

Simons Torres and Farfus also fought hard on the second day of the season opening weekend. Qualifying in P22, Simons Torres climbed seven places in Qualifying Heat 1 and a further three places in the second Heat. Lining up in P18, she eventually had to settle for P21 after a five-second time penalty for a front fairing technical infringement, whilst Farfus finished just behind the Spaniard in P23.


A dream weekend unfolded for Luna Fluxa Cross, as she appeared to be virtually untouchable in her quest to dominate the opening round in the OK-N Senior category. Qualifying in P2, the Spaniard wasn’t content with second and swept the board with back-to-back P1’s in both Qualifying Heats. Holding firm from pole, the Mercedes junior had victory in her sights, continuously strengthening her advantage to seize the first Final win by 6.7s.

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Charlotte Page and Payton Westcott put together fightbacks of their own on Day 1. Quick behind the wheel in both Qualifying Heats, Page gained a combined 19 places to take P18 and P19 finishes. However, the Australian driver couldn’t improve further in Final 1 and had to settle for P17 following a penalty for a technical infringement with her front fairing. Westcott gained on her grid slot in the first Final, as the American moved up five places to take P20.

Fluxa Cross sits proudly at the top of the OK-N Senior Standings on 133 points
Fluxa Cross sits proudly at the top of the OK-N Senior Standings on 133 points

The last flurry of action saw Fluxa Cross shin e once more. However, it wasn’t quite as smooth sailing as her Day 1 domination had been. Earning P6 in Qualifying, disaster struck in a wet Heat 1 as she was left with nowhere to go after getting caught up in an incident ahead. Moving up two places in Heat 2 helped the Spanish driver salvage a fifth-row start.

Blisteringly quick off the line, Fluxa Cross’ lightning getaway elevated her to P5 on the opening lap and she showed no signs of stopping. After a daring dive down the inside for the lead on Lap 4, she drove off into the distance to claim her second victory by over eight seconds, handing her a 25-point lead in the Championship.

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Westcott earned her first points of the campaign with a 16-point haul on Day 2. Gaining 20 places across both Heats, the American racer propelled herself forward in Final 2, turning P14 on the grid to a ninth-placed finish. Page also showed her fighting spirit after not setting a time in Qualifying and having a premature end to Heat 2 on the opening lap. Battling it out across the 22 laps, she made up eight places to round out her first round in P18.

The nine drivers will return to action for Round 2 next month, when COTFA heads to the International Lucas Guerrero Karting Circuit in Valencia, Spain from May 10-12.

To see the full list of results from the opening weekend and view the upcoming calendar, visit the COTFA website here.